The Nigerian government has revealed the plan to expand the size of Trans-Atlantic pipeline corridor from 20 inches to 46 inches when the construction of the Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline project begins in 2024.
Hon. Ekperikpe Ekpo, Minister of State, Petroleum Resources(Gas) made this known on Monday when he received a delegation from the Kingdom of Morocco led by its Ambassador to Nigeria, Moha Ou Ali Tagma on Monday in Abuja.
EnergyDay gathered that the team visited the Minister for a bilateral discussion on cooperation and commitment towards finalizing the Trans-Atlantic pipeline project and also on the development of its fertilizer plant in Nigeria.
Hon. Ekpo revealed that the construction of the Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline project which aims to link the European market is expected to begin in 2024.
The Minister of State Gas Resources while expressing Nigeria’s interest and readiness, said with the country’s 209 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of proven gas reserves, there was the need to supply gas to the continent before exporting to other continents.
He said, “I believe by 2024, we will conclude on it. Your company has been relating with the NNPC Ltd and I have received briefs.
“We also talked about it during the meeting of West African Gas Pipeline Committee Parties.
“For the fact that the pipeline existing within that corridor currently is 20 inches, there is a proposal to increase the size after Togo to 46 inches so that the flow will be large enough.
“This expansion aims to facilitate a larger flow of gas, to supply the commodity to the European market.
“Currently, the world is talking about climate change and natural gas is the sure way to go with low carbon emissions, so we have to be serious about the utilization of gas for prosperity,” the Minister said.
The Moroccan Ambassador, in his remark, described the pipeline project which started in 2016 as the most important gas project in Africa, which according to him is aimed at exporting gas to Europe.
He added that between 2016 and 2023 many meetings and MoUs were signed.
Commenting on the fertilizer project, the Ambassador said with the era of natural gas and components used to boost fertilizer industries, all the value chain shall be exploited.
He also noted that its OCP Group(Formerly Officer Cherifien Des Phosphates), the biggest exporter of fertilizer in the world had inaugurated plants in Kaduna, Sokoto, and Ogun State, then currently opening in Akwa Ibom
Tagma said the economic and technical studies being conducted on the project would be concluded in early 2024, adding that the participating government could decide to start its construction in 2024.
He further stated that the construction of the 1.5-dollar fertilizer plant in Akwa Ibom would commence in December, adding that it would spur investment opportunities.
EnergyDay’s check showed that pipeline will be an extension of the existing West African Gas Pipeline, which runs from Lagos connecting to Cotonou, Benin; Lomé, Togo; and Tema and Takoradi, Ghana.
The Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline would additionally connect to Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire; Monrovia, Liberia; Freetown, Sierra Leone; Conakry, Guinea; Bissau, Guinea-Bissau; Banjul, Gambia; Dakar, Senegal; Nouakchott, Mauritania and Tangiers, Morocco with possible extension to Europe through Cádiz, Spain.
The pipeline is expected to be the world’s longest offshore pipeline and will have the capacity to transport approximately 5,400 billion cubic meters of gas annually to Morocco and Europe.
The project is estimated to cost $25 billion and is expected to be completed in stages over 25 years.